“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere”
— Albert Einstein
I came across this blog, Is It Possible To Change Perceptions, and it’s absolutely brilliant. It inspired me to take a look at perception, not anyone else’s, but our own, and it got me wondering; how much does our perception define our reality, and can changing the former then also change the latter? Let’s cut to the chase here and quote the author, Is it possible to change perceptions? Absolutely. Is it possible to change your reality once you’ve changed your perception? It certainly is.
Some people put a lot of stock into things such as The Law of Attraction and I am ridiculously unqualified to really even skim this, and where I stand on it is not really relevant anyway. Before we start, I’m not telling you all to run out and read The Secret. The reason that I bring it up though is because if you look at The Law of Attraction, there are some really valuable tools to be had there, it’s all in the way you choose to interpret them. As simply put as possible The Law of Attraction is like attracts like. What you put out, you get back. So if you’re putting out positive energy, you’re getting that back. People use this rule to bring more pleasant things into their lives by focusing on that and letting go of the negative. Basically you’re visualizing what you want instead of visualizing what you don’t want because when you’re constantly stressing about what you don’t want, according to The Law of Attraction, you’re still putting out that negative energy and bringing it into your life anyway. Clear as mud?
I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but for me if I’m having a bad day I sometimes find myself focusing on everything that is bad about my day. These tiny inconveniences that plague me throughout a day can really leave me flustered, agitated and if left unchecked can even start to trigger me. If I get to the point where I do end up triggered the snowball effect happens and it’s terrible. I could have been having a great run where everything had been pretty good and little things didn’t bother me, but somewhere a long the line I let something just scratch me the wrong way and the outcome was that life just started to suck. My perceptions were skewed. Once I decided that people were annoying, worried about things that were entirely out of my control, and let that bitterness take over, my reality became heavy. My choice on how to perceive my own difficult moments led to a spiral of depression. Sure sometimes my mood swings from bipolar disorder play a role in situations like these, but sometimes bipolar disorder has nothing to do with any of it, my outlook, my choices and my reactions are what does it. The consequences of these self-inflicted pity parties have been very unhealthy.
- Chronic headaches
This was an extreme case of what a person is capable of doing to themselves with nothing more than the power of unchecked thoughts. Granted this isn’t going to happen to everyone, but it did happen to me. The upside to all of this was that it got me into my first mindfulness class where the instructor focused on the power of positive and present thinking. Basically I learned how to flip my thoughts and stay in the moment. It was very difficult, and I’m doing a refresher course right now. This isn’t something that I can do once and put down, it’s something that I have to work at every single day to get it to stick. It’s so easy to slip back into the old habits. CBT is also great for retraining your thoughts.
Changing your perception is not an easy task. If you don’t like the life you’re living, you need to do something about it. Going back to The Law of Attraction now, there really is something to visualizing. The first step in changing your perception is imagining how you want your life to be. If I had the power to flip my life into chaos and ugliness by nothing more than starting a chain reaction that was set in motion by thoughts, why wouldn’t I have the power to set something positive in motion? I know that some of you may see this as a little hokey, and I understand that, but give it a whirl what have you got to lose? Here are some tips to help you start changing your perceptions.
- Decide to be in charge of your life.
- Set goals for yourself and make sure they’re attainable. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
- Change your inner voice from, “I can’t” to “I can”
- Visualize where you want to be and write it out. Your imagination is powerful and using it is not a waste of time.
- Stop focusing on everything that is bad in your life and focus on the good even if it’s just that great cup of coffee in the morning, appreciate it.
- Start acknowledging the good qualities about yourself they are there, I promise. If you’ve been self hating for a long time you may have to dig deep, but you’ll get to know yourself again.
- You don’t have to settle for less than happy. Happy takes work, and if you have an illness you know how hard happy can be. Take care of yourself, use your doctors and therapists; they’re there to help you.
Your perception is your reality; there is no question about that. Reality and thoughts change and flicker constantly. Everyone has bad days, but if you’re in a cycle of heavy burden, do everything that you can to lift that. Changing your thoughts and trying to go from negative to positive costs nothing. Visualizing happiness and where you would like to be in your life takes a few minutes a few times a day. Appreciating what you have that is good in your life only makes you feel better and opens your eyes to more good things. Once you start the boll rolling it picks up speed very quickly. This all takes work and it’s up to you if it’s worth putting in the effort, but I really hope that you decide to do it.